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86b

Away in a Manger

Full Text

1 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
the stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay;
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

2 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
I love you, Lord Jesus: look down from the sky
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

3 Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care;
prepare us for heaven to live with you there.

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Scripture References

86b

Away in a Manger

Tune Information

Name
CRADLE SONG
Key
F Major
Meter
11.11.11.11
86b

Away in a Manger

Hymn Story/Background

Stanzas 1 and 2 of this anonymous children's hymn were first published in the Lutheran compilation Little Children's Book for Schools and Families (Philadelphia, 1885). Charles H. Gabriel published the text with an additional third stanza, also anonymously written in his Vineyard Songs (1892).
 
Though obviously a children's hymn, "Away in a Manger" is a charming favorite of many people, regardless of age. When people object to the "no crying" phrase in stanza 2, seeing it as a denial of Christ's humanity, they've really missed the childlike nature of this hymn. "Away in a Manger" has a lullaby character in stanzas 1 and 2; stanza 3 is an evening bedtime prayer.
 
CRADLE SONG, was composed by William J. Kirkpatrick, and was first published in Around the World with Christmas (1895). Like AWAY IN A MANGER, CRADLE SONG is a simple tune in ABAB form, but with a slightly more adventurous harmony. Try singing this childlike song in harmony; without accompaniment or with only light organ registration; or with flutes and guitar.
— Bert Polman
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